Coloradans may be known for...uh...smoking, but a new study shows that the Centennial State actually has a relatively low lung cancer rate.

Researchers at Filterbuy analyzed death rates, lung cancer rates and more to determine the impact of the disease in every U.S. state.

According to the company, Colorado has the third-lowest rate of lung cancer in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, with "an age-adjusted rate of 41.4 new lung cancers per 100,000 residents" between 2013 and 2017.

Courtesy of Filterbuy
Courtesy of Filterbuy

Despite the state's reputation for marijuana use (which has not been proven to cause lung cancer), the leading risk factor for the disease is tobacco use — something Filterbuy notes is more common among older Americans:

As the American population gets older due to the aging of Baby Boomers, lung cancer cases are likely to increase in raw numbers for that reason.

Only Utah and New Mexico surpassed Colorado in terms of low lung cancer rates. The disease has the largest prevalence in the Southeast region, with Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee having the highest rates.

When it comes to Kentucky and West Virginia, the study asserts that the states' heavy involvement in coal mining, a profession that is correlated with lung diseases, could also be responsible for the geographical increase.

Regardless of area, lung cancer is the most fatal cancer across the country. So protect those lungs, and enjoy some of Colorado's fresh mountain air.

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